I’m thrilled to introduce you to my friend Allison! Lately she’s been posting these amazing photos of her new Bible journal and I just HAD to ask her how she got started. Thankfully, she agreed to share with the world! I hope you are blessed by her artwork and inspired to engage with God’s Word in a new and exciting way. You can follow Allison and her Bible journaling journey over on Instagram. Enjoy! -Laurie
When I got pregnant with my first child, my mom warned me, “the next few years are likely going to be spiritually ‘dry.’ Having small children can be all-consuming.” Although I smiled and nodded at the time, I had no idea how right she was. Upon the arrival of my son (and the addition of my daughter several years later), I understood what she meant on a whole new level. Having small children sucks up all one’s free time. Many things–even good things–easily get pushed to the side.
But let’s be real: no matter what season of life you’re in, it’s easy to get distracted, waylaid, and bogged down; neglecting time with our Creator can easily just happen. If it’s not diapers and feedings, it’s work trips and household chores. If it’s not school functions and little league games, it’s continuing education classes and hurried dinners late in the evening. Every phase of life has it’s own distractions, it’s own opportunities for spiritual drought.
With all this mulling around in the back of my head, I recently decided to take intentional steps to prioritize my time with God by beginning a Bible art journal. Not only would such an endeavor allow me a creative outlet (something else that’s hard to come by as a momma), but would also help me spend more time in the Word.
Not quite sure where to begin, I turned to Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. Pinterest holds a plethora of ideas on how to start your project, what art supplies you need, hand-lettering techniques to try and has many examples of what others have created. Similarly, on Instagram you can run a search for #biblejournaling or #bibleartjournaling (as well as other related hashtags) to gain inspiration from others. There are a million options and ideas – which is both good and overwhelming!
Next was the all-important task of buying supplies. I looked at several supply lists, but heavily relied on this list from The Thinking Closet for my own buying.
Below is a list of the supplies I bought, as well as a short review of how well I have liked them so far.
While journaling Bibles can be found in many translations, the ESV happens to be my personal favorite version. This Bible has two-inch margins with very light lines for note-taking. I thought the lines would get in the way of my artwork, but they have actually proved helpful in keeping my writing straight. This purchase was a home run!
These watercolors are a big step up from the school-type water sets I have used in the past. The colors are gorgeous and vibrant, and blend well together. I would definitely recommend these. One note: the set does not come with a paintbrush.
These black pens come in a variety of widths and are perfect for writing/drawing on the delicate pages of a Bible. Thus far, I have not had any bleed-through of ink. Highly recommend this set!
This set of colored pens is lovely, and is a nice companion for the black set; I am really happy I opted to buy both. A word to the wise, though: don’t get too eager to write on pages that might still be wet from paint. While the pens don’t bleed through the paper normally, if the paper is damp, the ink will bleed.
This is the only purchase I made that I am not thrilled with. Maybe I’m not using the pens to their full potential, but I felt like they didn’t give me the coverage I was hoping for when I outlined black text. I’m not sure how much I’ll use these as I move forward.
During my Pinterest searching, I saw a recommendation to put a date stamp on each of your posts so you can remember when you completed your journal entry. Of course, you could easily write the date on by hand, but this stamp caught my eye, so I went ahead and bought it. I think it’s cute and it adds a nice little touch to my entries.
Once my supplies arrived, it was time to dive into the actual journaling. As I prepared to make my first entry, I felt a little anxious. I am always extremely critical of my creations–specifically my handwriting. I started feeling that criticism creeping in before I even put pen to paper. Would I like what I created? Would I do justice to the scriptures I was illustrating? Would what I made be “good enough?” As those thoughts bombarded me, I had to consciously make myself stop. I decided that this Bible art journal was not about perfection; it was about immersing myself in scripture, soaking up Truth, and letting the Word inspire me to make something beautiful. Therefore, my goal as I journal is not to create something flawless; it’s to create something visually lovely and to fill my heart up with the goodness of what God is saying to me through a particular passage.
I decided to begin by journaling some of my favorite texts…
If you have been thinking about starting a Bible art journal of your own, I can’t encourage you enough to take the plunge and do it! Journaling has been a huge blessing to me. I look forward to my quiet time each day, and I find myself reflecting on the verses I journal throughout the day. I am eager to see how God uses this journal to grow me and bring me closer to Him!
Allison Sauceda is a stay-at-home mom and freelance writer. She has a life-long love for Jesus and is active in her local church.You can generally find her reading children’s books, folding mountains of laundry or changing diapers.
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